The greatest thing on Dallas radio (that's not something on the Ticket) is when you're cruising through town late at night, and the sounds of Houston start to come from your speakers. The slow synth beat emitting from the Third Coast is the work of Fat Pat, and if you're of a certain age you're transported to 1998 by the work of one of the most prominent members of H-Town's Screwed Up Click. It's a uniquely Texan experience, and it's only possible because of Boom 94.5 FM.
And what do you know, this weekend Boom 94.5 is bringing that very same experience to life, live and in-person. The station, which was launched last November to much fanfar, is having its first-ever music festival tomorrow afternoon in Fair Park, consisting of zydeco, blues and of course old school hip-hop festival. It's going to be awesome.
Boom 94.5 and its sister station have been a boon to the once bleak Texas radio scene, a world populated by mundane Top 40, dad rock, cool dad rock and even more Top 40. When the Houston landed Boom 92, whispers started to swirl that Dallas wasn't far behind in getting its own version of the station. And then (forgive me for this) boom, 94.5 switched formats out of nowhere, and Dallas collectively lost its mind for the station.
Which is why people are looking forward to Saturday's festival with such anticipation. We've been given a peek back into the history of hip-hop, and now we get to see some of the genre's Southern-based titans including Scarface of the Ghetto Boys, UGK's Bun B (the trill OG), Mystikal and Juvenile perform in Fair Park. It's a literal hip-hop history lesson come to life. And people are going to flock to the event despite Saturday being one of the most chaotic, event filled days we'll see all year.
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It could be said that much of this is centered around nostalgia, but I think of it more as a celebration of one of America's youngest and most influential art forms. Hip Hop has given a voice to the voiceless and shined a light on a multitude of social injustices, while capturing the greater American culture's attention. It's paved the way for change in all facets of society, and has led to a bevy of success stories. Hip hop has given rise to a new American Dream, and Boom 94.5 is celebrating it in a way that it deserves.
Hip hop culture is African-American culture, and like Chris Rock said recently when discussing baseball of all things, African-American culture is cool and America is all about what's cool. So that's why in spite of Saturday featuring a bevy of athletic events like a much-anticipated (and very late) boxing match, a steeped-in-tradition horse race (aka the whitest things on the planet), and various important basketball events, the cool in Dallas will file into Fair Park to experience (and sadly co-opt) the culture, and the cool in celebration.
Honestly, considering the current climate of racial relations, and social issues, nothing is more needed than people coming together to celebrate something that means so much to one of America's most important and maligned cultures. So thank you, Boom 94.5. We need you as a station, and we need this festival. Not just for the look back into history, but because we need to finally agree on something, and that something is that you're amazing.
BOOM 94.5's CLASSIC HIP-HOP MEETS ZYDECO & THE BLUES FESTIVAL takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 2, at Fair Park, $30 at the door
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